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Trump: If FBI spied on my campaign, 'bigger than Watergate!'

AP  |  Washington 

lent credence today to reports that FBI informants had infiltrated his presidential campaign, saying that "if so, this is bigger than Watergate!"

Trump's comments came on as to head the Justice Department probe into possible coordination between and Trump campaign officials, an investigation Trump repeatedly has called a "witch hunt."


"Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI 'SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT,'" Trump said today on

"says, 'There's probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.' If so, this is bigger than Watergate!" McCarthy, a contributing at the National Review, wrote an article published last week headlined "Did the FBI Have a in the Trump Campaign?"

Times reported separately this week that at least one government informant met several times with and George Papadopoulos, both former foreign policy advisers on Trump's Republican campaign. The newspaper attributed the information to current and former FBI officials.

The in the early 1970s occurred following a break-in by five men at headquarters at the in and subsequent attempts by the administration of to hide its involvement. Nixon, a Republican, ultimately resigned from office as a result of the ensuing investigation. Meanwhile, Trump's said that the still wants to testify in the probe.

Speaking today on "Fox and Friends," the former said Trump will only sit down with Mueller if "we feel there's a way to shorten this thing." He added that Trump remains eager to offer his "side of the case." Giuliani has been urging Mueller's team to wrap up the investigation now that the probe has reached the one-year mark.

Giuliani's team has been weighing whether to allow Trump to sit for an interview with Mueller. He said the legal team is "pretty comfortable, in the circumstances of this case, that they wouldn't be able to subpoena him personally." While the has never definitively ruled on the subject, it appears that a sitting president could be forced to testify. In 1974, justices held unanimously that a president could be compelled to comply with a subpoena for tapes and documents.

If Trump were subpoenaed and did not want to testify, he could always invoke his constitutional right not to testify against himself and decline to answer questions. But that act would pose significant political risk.

Giuliani also repeated that Mueller's team has indicated it would not attempt to indict Trump, as he told on Friday. Justice Department legal opinions from 1973 and 2000 have suggested that a sitting president is immune from indictment and that criminal charges would undermine the commander in chief's ability to do the job. Giuliani told Channel's on Wednesday that Mueller "has all the facts to make a decision" after 12 months investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

"Mueller should now bring this to a close," said Giuliani. "It's been a year. He's gotten 1.4 million documents, he's interviewed 28 witnesses. And he has nothing, which is why he wants to bring the president into an interview." "It's about time to say enough. We've tortured this president enough," he added, describing the investigation as being "like a big weight" on the president's back.

So far, the special counsel's office has charged 19 people including four Trump campaign advisers and three Russian companies. Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, have pleaded guilty and are now cooperating with the probe.

Trump, however, has panned it as a "witch hunt" intended to discredit his presidency and has insisted that had nothing to do with his winning campaign.

Giuliani, who is working for the president pro bono, said Wednesday that the probe "is not good for the American people, and the special counsel's office doesn't seem to have that sort of understanding that they're interfering with things that are much bigger than them.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 17 2018. 23:45 IST
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